Your Official Guide To Not Being A Jerk On Black Friday

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Black Friday (or Thanksgiving in some states) is the signal that the holiday shopping season has begun. And while it’s full of great deals and limited time finds, it’s also full of jerks. For every kind, considerate customer, there’s someone berating the retail staff over a coupon or sold out item. Pro tip: don’t be that jerk. The retail workers you’re harassing want to be home with their families, too, and definitely don’t want to be arguing with you, Susan, over an expired coupon on the busiest shopping day of the year.

It’s not just Black Friday though — being a non-jerk is a great rule of thumb for all of your holiday shopping trips. Everyone wants to get those perfect gifts for their loved ones, and it can drive you a bit bonkers, but don’t take it out on some unsuspecting teen cashier. So here is your official guide on how not to be a total jerk this Black Friday and beyond!

PROTIP #1: Patience is a virtue

If you don’t think you’ll be waiting in line than I can show you some flying pigs right outside. Be patient with workers, with the lines, and with each other. Sure it sucks waiting in line. We get it. But it also gives you time to contemplate if you really want your purchases or are buying them out of some deal-obligation. Plus, it gives you time to call that family you ran out on at noon on Thanksgiving so you could wait in line for a pair of crappy Beats headphones.

PROTIP #2: Don’t say “sorry you aren’t with your families!” to retail workers

You’re not sorry, because you’re here shopping. With more and more retailers opening on Thanksgiving as opposed to the next day, it’s becoming common for retail workers to completely forego this holiday so shoppers can get their stuff. And it’s not a choice — lots of employers require their employees to work on this day. Pizza in the breakroom just ain’t the same as a freshly basted bird, and your “sorries” don’t help. Best course of action? Strike up conversation with those helping you. Make them laugh, or give them a minute to forget they’re drowning in merchandise left all over the store. It’s much better than a “sorry”!

PROTIP #3: Read the fine print before you get combative

Maybe your coupon isn’t working because you have the wrong product, not because our registers are garbage. Read the fine print and then make informed shopping decisions. This goes for coupons, ads, and signs. Workers don’t have time to verify every deal you thought you saw around the store because you didn’t feel like reading anything other than the “50%” on the sign. Save yourself time, save workers time, and get it right the first time.

PROTIP #4: Accept beforehand that you may not get the hot item you’re coming in for

Black Friday and holiday shopping is a crapshoot in general. You never know how much of an item a store is going to have, when they’ll get more, or how quickly they’ll sell out when they do finally get it. So resign yourself to the fact that you may just not get that hot item you’re coveting. Whether it’s for yourself or for a gift, don’t stress if you can’t get it ASAP at Black Friday prices because, spoiler alert, most stores give comparable deals the week or two before Christmas to get those last minute customers in. And if you don’t get it in time? It’s an item! Not your health. Get it when you can after Christmas and call it a day. You can’t always get what you want anyways, sorry not sorry.

PROTIP #5: Don’t use your kid as a line placeholder — and maybe just don’t bring them at all

Black Friday can get rough in stores with the high traffic and deal-minded crazy people. Maybe don’t rip your kids from bed at the crack of dawn to make them wait in line for you while you grab things you don’t want or need? It’s even worse on Thanksgiving day when kids are dragged from family and food to some random Walmart so their parents can buy a Google Chrome they’ll never learn how to use. The worst of all? When you bring your crying infant into the mayhem because things weren’t loud and annoying enough already.

PROTIP #6: For the love of god don’t body check anyone

Seriously. Just don’t do it. What is there to be gained by getting physically aggressive with someone you don’t know over a shitty TV that happens to be $50 off?! The fact that any people at all have been injured during holiday shopping is already too many, people. The holidays are supposed to be about family and togetherness. Don’t taint that by giving someone a black eye over a Hatchimal. Deals can make anyone crazy but don’t forget to act like people instead of animals.

PROTIP #7: Just shop online!

Most, if not all, retailers provide their hot holiday deals online — sometimes even the day before Black Friday even begins! Why travel to the store and battle for some in-demand item when you can order it in a click? And if you’re dead set on going to a store but still want something you’re not sure about, try in-store pickup. Most stores offer it and it’ll make it so your items are sitting right at guest service when you arrive. No hassle, no fighting with randos in electronics, and no surprises over the price. You could also skip the lines and wait for Cyber Monday, the most dignified of holiday deal days. You don’t even have to talk to a single person all day if you don’t want to! And let’s be honest, who wants to?!

BONUS TIP: Don’t stress about that *hot* toy for your kid, it’ll end up under their bed a week after Christmas.

Spoiler alert: that hot toy? Not gonna be so hot when the next big thing comes around. These over-hyped, niche-filling toys are rarely actually fulfilling or useful for kids. Don’t be surprised when they have more fun with the box this stuff came in that the thing itself. Same goes for adults — if you blind listened to Philips headphones vrs. Beats, then you know you wouldn’t know the difference. You’ll soon realize the $10 headphones would’ve been fine and that waste of money is the real Christmas gift that keeps on giving. So don’t worry if you can’t get that coveted gift because it’s sold out everywhere. There will be other gifts, and you will definitely be forgiven.

Check Out All of the Black Friday Deals Here